23 February 2019 FT — Articles to Read

23 February 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are six (6) unexpected tax breaks you can claim on your tax return?


Weak inflation haunts Fed policies – Pg. 1

–          Risks posed by chronically low inflation rates that have dogged developed economies since the financial crisis need to be confronted by central bankers,…

–          …soft inflation could damage the Fed’s ability to convince the general public it will hit its 2% goal and keep the economy on a solid path

–          The failure of the world’s largest economies to see a rise in prices in rcent years has befuddled economists and policymakers

–          The Fed’s favoured inflation  measures have averaged just 1.5% during the current expansion

–          With the US recovery 10 years old and unemployment near half-century lows, traditional models suggest that inflation should be surging


Billionaire owner of Super Bowl winners charged with soliciting prostitutes – Pg. 1

–          Mr Kraft was charged along with two dozen other men as part of a months-long investigation by the Jupiter, Florida police department into prostitution and human trafficking in the area

–          Mr Kraft, 77, is a pillar of Boston’s business and philanthropic communities and a longtime friend of Mr Trump, whom he credited with helping him through the loss of his wife to cancer

–          The owner of the Patriots, the most successful American football franchise of the past 20 years, also has an unlikely connection to Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president: during a meeting in 2005, Mr Kraft showed the Russian leader his $25,000 Super Bowl ring.  Mr Putin then pocketed it as a “gift”, creating an award diplomatic situation

–          (Prof Note: While this is, most likely, an unpopular view, I say legalize prostitution.  Regulate and tax the industry.  Just like drugs, take human behavior from the shadows and make it safer through regulation and tax the industry.)


Fed ways it will hold larger balance sheet in long term – Pg. 13

–          The report underlines the more dovish stance taken recently by the Fed, which last month decided to keep interest rates on hold and signaled an end to its efforts to reduce its balance sheet

–          “The longer run size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet will be considerably larger than before the crisis”

–          It added that the Fed’s liabilities remain low as a proportion of GDP when compared with those of other central banks, such as the ECB, the BoE and the BoJ

–          The balance sheet rose from $900bn at the end of 2006 – 6% of GDP – to about $4.5tn at the end of 2014 – 25% of GDP

–          Since October 2017, the central bank has been attempting to “normalize” its balance sheet by reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and mortgage backed securities – a process that has triggered sell-offs in global stock markets

–          The Fed also warned yesterday that, while employment in US towns and cities had rebounded above pre-crisis levels, employment in rural areas lagged behind, suggesting the jobs recovery might still have room to run


Answer: (1) Charity work deduction; (2) Gambling losses deduction; (3) Jury duty pay deduction; (4) Guard dog deduction; (5) College tuition and fees deduction; (6) Retirement account savings credit